A whopping 53 per cent of smokers belong to the age group of 20 to 30 years, a survey has revealed, adding most of them resort to smoking to cope with stress.
According to the survey conducted by Aviss Foundation, every third person in the age group of 15-50 years was addicted to smoking.
“Of all the respondents, which were between the age group of 15 to 50 years, a whopping 33 per cent admitted to smoking addiction,” it said.
The survey revealed that youths took to smoking to beat the stress.
“According to the survey figures, 56 per cent thought that smoking helped them get relief from stress while 55 per cent of them admitted that they are aware of its ill-effects and were anxious about their health but continue to smoke anyway. Apart from this, 55 per cent had tried to quit smoking but failed, underlying the strong addictive nature of smoking leading to difficulties in giving up,” it added.
India is one of those countries reeling under a huge burden of high mortality and morbidity linked with tobacco addiction. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India is home to 12 per cent of the world’s smokers.
“While government policies in India have always been designed carefully around the targeted awareness programmes, the survey figures indicate that it’s time to sit up and fine-tune our strategies to address the issue more effectively,” said Aviss Foundation head Prerana Garg. (IANS)
The World Health Organization also called WHO is calling for stricter regulations on the marketing and sale of e-cigarettes as more information comes to light about the potentially harmful impact of these products.
Health officials are increasingly worried about the risks posed by e-cigarettes as reported cases of deaths and illnesses from these devices spread from the United States to Europe and beyond. They see the recent death of a young man in Belgium and reports of vaping-related illnesses in the Philippines and other countries in the world as a call to action.
The World Health Organization says it is disturbed that vaping devices continue to be marketed as products that are healthy and that can wean smokers off their nicotine addiction. WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier tells VOA these industry health claims are unproven.
“While these electronic nicotine delivery systems may be less toxic than conventional cigarettes, this does not make them harmless,” he said. “They produce aerosols from the vapor that contain toxicants that can result in a range of significant pathological changes. These ends pose health risks for nonsmokers, to minors, to pregnant women — all of those who should not use such systems.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed at least 42 deaths in 24 states and the District of Columbia, and more than 2,100 illnesses related to vaping products.
Vaping is an extremely profitable growth industry. The number of people using vaping devices has increased from 7 million in 2011 to 41 million in 2018. Profits have nearly tripled, from $6.9 billion five years ago to more than $19 billion today. Getting the tobacco industry to refrain from the sale of electronic smoking devices will be extremely difficult.
The World Health Organization says long-term studies of health implications of electronic nicotine devices should begin. In the meantime, the U.N. health agency is issuing recommendations that in some ways mirror those enacted to control tobacco use.
WHO says there should be a ban on the promotion of electronic nicotine delivery systems to nonsmokers, pregnant women and youth; measures should be taken to minimize the potential risks to users and others from these devices, and the tobacco industry should be prohibited from using unproven health claims to market vaping products. (VOA)